There are some serious fears out there:
Fear of failure. Fear of being selfish. Fear of poverty. Fear of letting down our family and friends. Fear of being perceived as a fraud. Fear of lacking education. Fear of lacking experience. Fear of losing it all. Fear of being a lousy wife or a fickle husband. Fear of taking the first step into darkness. Fear of trust. Fear of foolishness. Fear of sacrifice. Fear of death. Fear of laziness. Fear of offending someone. Fear of losing control.
But these fears aren’t what keeps us from doing work that matters or living up to our full potential. These aren’t what we fear most.
What we fear most is that we will succeed.
The terrifying prospect a human being can face is that of becoming the person we know in our hearts we truly are.
It’s a fear of discovery. We fear that we actually do possess the ability, the talent, the skill. We fear that we are more capable than we think we are. That the ideas are there inside us, waiting for us. That we have the willpower, the discipline, the perseverance. That we have what it takes. This is our fear because, if it’s true, then we face a different reality. Once we have passed through the refiner’s fire, there is no going back. A diamond can’t go back to being a piece of coal.
We face the reality of living how we say we’re going to live. We face the ultimate challenge of staying true to our beliefs. We face becoming unrecognizable to our family and friends. We face change over and over because people will still try to put us in that box we were in before we discovered our authentic-selves.
The fear of succeeding. Succeeding at becoming our true-selves, at living our purpose, at fulfilling our dreams, at living our ideals, at loving more, caring more, being more. That’s our greatest obstacle. That’s the fear that cripples most. It’s the one fear to rule them all.
Because it’s the one fear that, if overcome, produces greatness, originality, love, compassion, connection, innovation, fulfillment, happiness, meaning, self-worth, and every other worthy cause or attribute worth pursuing.